Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas has a new career with West Midlands Police, thanks to the University’s mentoring scheme DiversiTees.

BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics

Michelle Thomas

What are you doing now?

I have a new career with West Midlands Police, thanks to the University’s mentoring scheme DiversiTees. The scheme is available to disabled, mature or black, ethnic minority students, linking them with local employers to enhance their employability.

What did you enjoy about DiversiTees?

The University’s Careers Service teamed me up with Howard Smith, a Fire and Safety Officer with Cleveland Police. During my placement Howard arranged for me to shadow one of Cleveland Police’s experts in digital evidence.

Howard later saw a job advert in Police Review for a Computer Forensics Technician with West Midlands Police, and encouraged me to apply. I got the job aided by the fact I was the only candidate with relevant work experience.

DiversiTees was such a good experience as it got me into the real world of work. When Howard told me about the job ad I didn’t think about applying as I was busy completing my dissertation and coursework, but Howard encouraged me to go for it, he said ‘just do it, you don’t know if you don’t try’.

I was one of ten candidates and told afterwards that the work experience at Cleveland Police had given me the edge. In my role I’m looking at electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones for evidence.

How has your life changed?

My life is totally different now. I missed some of my GCSE study time due to epilepsy and lacked confidence. Studying at Teesside has opened my eyes a lot and I’m very grateful to Howard for being such a supportive mentor.

* The new title of this programme is BSc (Hons) Computer and Digital Forensics